Crews battle subzero temperatures during early morning fire

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Firefighters spent most of Tuesday morning battling a fire and below zero temperatures that left most of their equipment completely frozen.

Just after midnight, crews were called to home on Swigert Avenue. When they got there, the house was covered in flames. Fire officials say one woman was inside when the fire started, but she was able to get out safely.

A total of 12 fire trucks responded to the scene, but the blaze proved too strong to handle. Firefighters say the home is a total loss.

Flames weren’t the only problem for firefighters this morning, so were the frigid, below zero temperatures. The arctic air did more than leave firefighters struggling to stay warm. It also left water hoses, fire trucks and even the house, that was once ablaze, now completely frozen.

Crews spent the first few hours of daylight working to de-freeze their equipment.

"It's going to take us quite a while to get packed up," says Major Joe Madden with the Lexington Fire Department. "You can't just take the hose and roll it up because of the ice in it. It would damage the hose. So we have to make sure we thaw it out properly before we can get it out back on the truck.”

Because the home is now literally frozen shut, fire investigators say they likely won't be able to get inside to determine a cause until the end of the week.

A firefighter was also injured during the clean-up Tuesday morning. Fire officials say he slipped and fell on ice, injuring his knee.

Fire officials say a dog and a cat that were living inside the home were taken to the humane society.

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